The world today is increasingly digitally connected. Consumers of all ages are very comfortable using technology for all their needs. And shopping makes up an integral part of the same. With the festive season upon us, consumers are looking for an exceptional virtual shopping experience from the safety of their homes.
Digital channels allow consumers to take a look and evaluate the products they want to purchase while comparing them with any other similar product they might have their eyes on. Sure, brick-and-mortar stores offer this facility, but consumers might need to visit multiple stores that carry different brands or product types. It is rare to find every single product under one roof in a physical store.
However, through a digital store, brands can take the store directly to their customers’ houses. It gives them an edge over brands that do not offer a virtual shopping experience and helps them go above and beyond to delight their customers.
Understanding Virtual Commerce
Virtual commerce primarily offers the perfect blend of online and offline channels. The combination of digital and physical (also called “Phygital”) has infused a new life into the everyday shopping experience. It goes beyond what the traditional e-commerce channels have offered their consumers by providing a real-time demo of products. It not only makes shopping convenient for the consumers in tier 1 and tier 2 cities, but it also helps brands reach into the markets and give live demos where setting up a physical store might not be possible.
Phygital is the next big thing in e-commerce. Phygital commerce leverages cutting-edge technology to give the customers a virtual look and feel of the product in a way that replicates the in-store experience. Some of the technologies used include:
- Artificial intelligence (AI)
- Augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR glasses)
- TMT plates
- High-resolution cameras
- Good quality microphones
- High-speed internet
Going the Extra Mile to Deliver Superior Customer Experiences
Phygital commerce provides real-time interactions with a dedicated sales representative, who shares in-depth product details, answers queries, and offers personalized recommendations based on a customer’s individual preferences. This keeps the customer engaged and leverages one-on-one interactions to make the customer feel special. And customers like to feel special, especially when shopping online.
A phygital shopping experience can provide a competitive advantage to brands over their peers. If a customer has a wonderful experience when interacting with a brand online, they are more likely to become return customers and even become loyal brand advocates.
A recent survey by Scalers estimates that nearly 61% of users prefer to shop from brands that provide phygital customer experiences.
Benefits of Leveraging a Virtual Shopping Experience
Virtual commerce is disrupting the retail market not only in India but across the globe. As a result, aiming for customer satisfaction is a thing of the past. Now, what brands need to do is make delivering customer delight their primary objective. And to do this, they need to employ innovative strategies and approaches to enhance every touchpoint in their customer journey.
Here’s why virtual commerce is here to stay:
- Engagement in real-time
Phygital offers brands the opportunity to have dedicated sales promoters interact with the customers directly, give them a detailed product demo, and answer any questions they may have.
- Personalized experience
The sales promoter can tailor their recommendations based on who the customer is, what his requirements are, and what his potential concerns can be
- Advantage over traditional e-commerce
Brand stores can gain an edge over e-commerce giants by offering something unique and catering to the customers’ needs in an immersive, in-store-like experience.
- Live, thorough demo
Brick and mortar stores held the advantage of providing a detailed look into the products and their features, but with phygital commerce, virtual stores can also offer this distinct advantage with ease.
- Safe and convenient shopping
Customers can shop anytime, anywhere through a digital store and explore products via a chosen channel at their convenience.
- Strong conversion funnel
With phygital, brands can optimize their resources and rely on contextual communication to revamp the sales pitch explicitly targeted to the customers in a way that makes them feel valued.
- Seamless purchase journey
With real-time interactions, agents can offer guidance to a customer to help complete their purchase transactions online and provide any assistance they may need every step of the way.
Wrapping It Up
Brands can successfully deliver personalized shopping experiences to their customers at the comfort of their homes via a phygital store. It can drive virtual commerce with a human touch, thereby providing the best of both physical and digital worlds. Through virtual visualization, brands can offer a highly engaging level of interaction for their customers. Rather than just reading the textual information about a product, customers can experience it and gauge its look and feel through an immersive virtual store.
Get the Right Partner for Virtual Shopping
Brands might feel that offering an excellent virtual shopping experience is not their core strength. But that should not be a bottleneck to leverage a lucrative channel. Instead, brands can outsource their phygital needs by selecting the ideal partner who is a demonstrated expert in blending physical with digital and offering a superior phygital experience for customers. This ensures that brands save their precious time and valuable resources on focusing on their overall strategy, business operations, and other sales and customer interactions mediums.
By selecting an outsourcing partner to implement a phygital strategy, brands can easily enhance their revenue streams at an affordable cost without getting into the hassles of setting up the AI-powered technology themselves. The ideal partner would provide the needed implementation and infrastructure for a successful virtual shopping experience.
To Sum Up
The digital revolution is here to stay, and brands need to realize this soon and adapt to the latest technology to stay ahead of the curve. Leveraging phygital not only brings a unique value proposition to the brand but also ensures that online shopping is tougher to resist and more convenient than ever for your customers.